9th International Winners Forum to be held in St. Petersburg

9th International Winners Forum to be held in St. Petersburg

On April 25th, the 9th International Winners Forum headlined “The Great Victory Gained by Unity” takes place in St. Petersburg. It is devoted to the 75th anniversary of Leningrad’s complete liberation from the Nazi blockade. Initiators of the Forum plan to establish a dialogue between youth, scientific, and expert communities from the CIS countries, Georgia, the Baltic states, as well as from Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The goal of the event is maintenance of the common historical memories about the Great Patriotic War and contribution to the Victory by the USSR peoples.

250 delegates from all post-Soviet countries are going to participate in the Forum: veterans of the Great Patriotic War, residents of Blockaded Leningrad and their descendants, officials, leaders of social organizations and scouting movements, historians, artists, and journalists.

Valery Tursunov, President of the Developing Foundation of the Eurasian Studies Institute, spoke about the history of the Forum: “For the first time, the Forum was held in April 2010 as a regional conference devoted to the Role of the Caucasus Peoples in the Battle for the Caucasus. All North Caucasus republics participated in it, as well as Azerbaijan, Armenia, Abkhazia, and South Ossetia. At the moment, Western political scientific centers provided various guesses on developments and importance of the Battle for the Caucasus in the Great Patriotic War. The first Forum took place in Tuapse. The second one was held on Vladikavkaz. In 2013, the Forum was organized in Volgograd within the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Stalingrad. The turn from a regional agenda to an agenda uniting the whole post-Soviet space was marked.”

“We managed to united the space in 2014 when we marked the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Kursk. All republics of the former USSR participated in the Forum for the first time. Within the preparation for the Forum, the Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Foundation organized conferences in capitals of the republics. Later, national delegations which took part in the Forum were formed. That year, the Intergovernmental Foundation of Humanitarian Cooperation between the CIS countries became one of co-initiators of the Forum. It enabled us to widen geography of participants and involve official delegations from the post-Soviet countries. The 5th Forum fell in the same time as the 70th anniversary of the Victory and took place in Moscow. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Midvedev, the Vice Premier Olga Golodets and Mikhail Shvydkoy participated in the Forum,” Valery Tursunov said.

According to him, after that, the Forum moved from Russia to Minsk and late to Astana. “In 2017, the All-Russian Movement of Commemoration Work of the Russian Scouting Movement joined the Forum. Due to them, we actively involve scouts from different post-Soviet countries, including Belarus, Ukraine, and Kyrgyzstan. In 2018, the Forum was held in Bryansk. It was devoted to the 75th anniversary of Bryansk’s liberation. We discussed the guerilla movement. We tried to explain the youth that it was a real second big army and guerillas fought for the country,” Tursunov stated.

He also highlighted key goals of the Forum: “First of all, it is about preservation of memory of the Great Patriotic War as a common achievement and a key phenomenon in the common history of all countries and people of the post-Soviet space. It is about spreading historical knowledge about the Great Patriotic War; preventing falsifications; establishing stable and efficient communication between historians, experts, social leaders of the post-Soviet countries. Our main goal is to involve as many young people as we can to the historical studies.”

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